Posted on 05/08/2024

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass today (5/8/24) recognized the Los Angeles City Council for unanimously confirming Carmen Chang as General Manager of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. Ms. Chang will lead the department with a bold and equity-driven vision for the Department where Angelenos across the city can be civically engaged through the neighborhood council system to advocate for their communities on the issues that matter to them most.

“Carmen is an organizer who brings decades of experience earning wins for working people, for California immigrants, and centering the voices of the people in advocacy for more economic opportunities,” said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. “I look forward to working with Carmen as the next General Manager of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. Her proven commitment to transparency, trust building and coalition building will help the Department deliver on the Charter’s promise for neighborhood representation and begin a transformation that ensures that Angelenos are driving decision-making within their communities. We are grateful to Interim General Manager Vanessa Serrano who stepped up into this role to guide the department during the transition and has been a dedicated public servant to the people of Los Angeles. Thank you to the L.A. City Council for confirming this appointment and for your continued commitment to improving neighborhood representation across the city. ” 

“I am honored to be appointed by Mayor Bass and confirmed by the City Council to serve as General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. I look forward to carrying out Mayor Bass’ vision for a neighborhood council system that is inclusive and representative of the many cultures and the diversity of Los Angeles,” said Confirmed General Manager of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment Carmen Chang. “As the next General Manager, my first priority will be to listen to the Neighborhood Councils, to build relationships with each of them, and to engage and learn from the Department staff to develop a plan to increase community engagement in every corner of the city. Solving our greatest challenges and improving our communities must always begin with hearing the voices of community members. That is what we will do, together.”

Ms. Chang brings a background in organizing and helping empower communities to be actively engaged in public and political processes while working to make systems more inclusive. Ms. Chang currently serves as the Director of Programs and Organizing at Golden State Opportunity, a statewide anti-poverty organization, where she leads a team and executes a multi-million dollar budget to work with 40 organizations throughout the state to provide education and outreach to low-income Californians to ensure access to economic opportunities, public benefits and to advocate for systems change at the state and federal levels. She has an extensive history of serving Angelenos, including through her work as a Commissioner on multiple City commissions. 

By centering the voices of impacted Angelenos, Ms. Chang earned advocacy wins on economic justice, health and public benefits, and detention and deportation, including full inclusion of the California Earned Income Tax Credit for tax filers using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) and health for all regardless of immigration status. Ms. Chang is an active advocate for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Los Angeles.

Read more about her professional history and achievements -

Leaders across Los Angeles weighed in to voice their support for Mayor Bass’ selection:

“I am very happy with the announcement of the new General Manager for DONE and look towards the future being very interactive with the community. I believe that Carmen's experiences and track record will help DONE soar and work together with all the neighborhood councils,” said Ray Regalado, Former President, Board of Neighborhood Councils.

“I congratulate and look forward to working with Carmen Chang. I know that under her leadership, guidance, and dedication the Neighborhood Council system will receive greater economic justice, more appropriate budgets for Neighborhood Councils along with the energized strength for an empowering growth of outreaching that she will bring and serve all Angelenos in the City of Los Angeles. She is exceptional and I applaud Mayor Karen Bass for this appointment!” said Kurt Cabrera-Miller President, Sylmar Neighborhood Council. 

"This is the opportune moment for a robust overhaul of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment,” said Claudia Oliveira, President, Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. "Mayor Bass’ leadership, along with her selection of Carmen Chang to spearhead these efforts, prioritizing community interests as intended, will foster a transparent, accessible, and inclusive environment that benefits our city and the dedicated communities it serves. Carmen Chang boasts a proven track record of empowering individuals, championing projects, and driving innovative initiatives."

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